Illustration of being skinny with arrows pointing to the stomach and orange shorts

Being Skinny Shamed

By Emily Garza
Web Content Contributor

I recently had to write a personalized essay about how mass media affected the way I perceive myself and my own body. Oh boy, that made me cry when I realized how insecure I grew up.

We all have our own little insecurities about ourselves. Whether it be our smile, our stomach, our legs or our hair. I didn’t realize how insecure I was of myself until I thought about how insecure I was in the past.

For reference, I am a skinny woman. I have always been a skinny person growing up. I have had many people see how small my wrists are and call me, “Chicken legs.” I was literally stuck in the 80 to 90 pounds range for about three years of my life. Now, I can’t even hit 105 pounds

Picture of a scale with “100 lbs” on it in the color red.
It is hard for me to gain any weight, and now I can’t even hit 110 pounds. Image by Emily Garza.

My parents also loved that I was skinny and tried to keep me skinny, especially since I was the skinniest one in my family. Being skinny is considered pretty.

However, all of the skinny praise ended when I hit puberty. My parents realized I wasn’t as “developed” as my sister and my cousin and were just slightly nagging me about it. I couldn’t help it; it was out of my control. All of what they were saying hurt me and made me really insecure about my body.

From what I heard from my parents and what I saw in media, it seemed like being skinny was a good thing. It isn’t when you have blueberries and not cantaloupes. It doesn’t help when you’re a Latina and everyone expects this certain body type from you.

Throughout middle school and high school, I just dealt with my insecurities and dressed in a way to hide what I was insecure about myself. It wasn’t until I started to attend college that I started to love myself and my body the way it is.

There are many positives on being a skinny cardboard! I can squeeze by people easily, oversized hoodies look cute on me, and I can lay on my stomach easily. These are things I pride myself on, and it is a small list I am still building on. I still have to work on it, but I’m getting there. 

It was hard being shamed because I was skinny. I thought no one would really find me attractive. Everyone online that is said to be “beautiful”, “hot” or “sexy” are all hourglasses.

When you’re a rectangle, you don’t easily see the beauty of you. Nonetheless, someone will find you special and perfect in every way, so no need to worry so much. Besides, the main person who should find you special and perfect should be yourself!

Featured image by Emily Garza.

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